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J Public Health Policy. 2013 May;34(2):239-53. doi: 10.1057/jphp.2013.9. Epub 2013 Feb 28.

Restricting marketing to children: consensus on policy interventions to address obesity.

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Centre for Health Promotion Studies, School of Public Health, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB T6G 1C9, Canada.


Obesity presents major challenges for public health and the evidence is strong. Lessons from tobacco control indicate a need for changing the policy and environments to make healthy choices easier and to create more opportunities for children to achieve healthy weights. In April 2011, the Alberta Policy Coalition for Chronic Disease Prevention convened a consensus conference on environmental determinants of obesity such as marketing of unhealthy foods and beverages to children. We examine the political environment, evidence, issues, and challenges of placing restrictions on marketing of unhealthy foods and beverages within Canada. We recommend a national regulatory system prohibiting commercial marketing of foods and beverages to children and suggest that effective regulations must set minimum standards, monitor compliance, and enact penalties for non-compliance.

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